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326 Comments

A Few Words About Unfinished

You might see a different tag on some videos around here. Here's what's up.

If I put a photo of myself here, it's almost like a proper "Letter from the Editor" or something, right?

There's a real inflexibility that comes with the term "Quick Look." It actually wasn't always that way, but now that we've been putting those words in front of videos for over five years, there's something of an expectation about what, exactly, a Quick Look is.

For starters, they aren't quick. At least, they aren't anymore. They're usually a solid chunk of a game, sometimes crossing the one-hour mark. That's pretty weird when you consider that the first few of these were around 15 minutes. With that in mind, a game needs to have that significant chunk available before we can Quick Look it. That excludes a lot of things, assuming you're interested in having the term "Quick Look" mean something specific. For a time, we thought about just using that name for everything, regardless of the state of a given game. Preview versions of games, demos, and final products all fell under that umbrella. It's led to a little confusion over the years and created a bit of a reluctance on our part to record multiple Quick Looks for the same game. To help sidestep some of those (admittedly semantic) issues and give us a defined place for preview-style coverage, we're creating "Unfinished."

Unfinished is a spot for us to look at everything else, like Early Access games from Steam that consist of little more than a sandbox and a dream. Or very early (and very restricted) preview copies of games from major publishers. Maybe an occasional tech demo or two. And, potentially, video footage that would have fallen under the "Man, I Saw That!" or "What It Is" banners in the past. We want to keep it somewhat flexible without losing the meaning. But the general idea is that what we're looking at isn't full-fledged enough to carry an entire Quick Look just yet.

Actually, how about instead of writing all this, I just show you what Drew sent around to everyone else today?

Jeff and I were talking today about finally taking advantage of Early Access-type games. There's potentially a lot of content there and it feels weird not to acknowledge games that people are talking about in an official video capacity. They don't really fit into Quick Looks, and locking them behind a paywall in UPF is a little weird, so we need something new.

The name we came up with was Unfinished. It's universal so that we can include stuff outside of Steam, and it gets across that these games are not in their final state and are not necessarily subject to Quick Look-style treatment.

Naming it something completely new (and not like "Early Look" or something) also frees us up to be flexible with the format, which will be helpful since pre-release games are so wildly different in terms of content and scope. Maybe sometimes the video is only 7 min long. Maybe it's a series of hour-long videos. Maybe it's a one-person video. Maybe we do three games in one video with cameras and a set. Maybe we even incorporate editor impressions and screenshots from preview events that we weren't allowed to take footage at.

What do you guys think?

Drew

This actually led to about 14 emails back and forth as we decided what sort of title format we should use (like, should we put the version number in the headline? What happens when we don't know the version number?) and a few other details. But here's the short version: Look for coverage of Bugbear's Next Car Game to hit tomorrow and... well... I'm going to go see how far along Audiosurf 2 is at the moment.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
346 Comments
Posted by ZmillA

Yay new types of content!

Posted by TheHT

That's cool. Early access games (in general, not just Steam) seems like enough of a thing, and one that isn't about to go away soon, to warrant serious attention. Lumping preview content in there as well makes sense, unless it's a final build you're looking at. I assume that'd just be a Quick Look?

Posted by buffaloseven

I think this is a great way to address a huge category of gaming that – I agree – doesn't quite fit under the current categories.

Looking forward to it!

Edited by TehPickle

Seems like a sound idea to me.

Posted by Breadfan

Giant Bomb: Now sponsored by PBR.

Edited by TournamentOfHate

@pie said:

Cool. I find it kinda strange how much thought giant bomb seems to put into how to properly categorise their videos and new feature ideas when at the end of the day it's all just them playing video games with some funny commentary. Make more of the funny less of the thinky. Were "unfinished" games not getting coverage just because they didn't fit into the very loose definition of a "quick look"? Who cares?

I think it's the GB audience that cares more than the staff. People lost their shit when Patrick did a QL by himself because QLs "had to be with multiple people".

Anyway, this sounds great and I'm glad we got to see that e-mail. Thanks!

Online
Posted by ma_rc_01

How about "Funfinished"?

Posted by Nonentity

Sounds good to me. More eyeballs on the weird quirky shit in Steam Early Access and other unfinished stuff is a net positive.

Posted by emnii

I'm totally into this. I'm definitely into seeing the incomplete/early access games and I'm glad you're making a clear distinction between games that are (more or less) finished, and games that are still works in progress.

Does this leave the door open for Unfinished games getting proper Quick Looks after they've been completed?

Posted by BeachThunder

"Unfinished" seems like an unfinished name. I agree with the others, these should be called MIST.

Posted by Butano

Sweet! I was wondering if they'd get any coverage of some early access games like DayZ or Rust. Pretty awesome of @drewbert to get the ball rolling on this! Thanks!

Posted by BaconGames

I'm down.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@video_game_king said:

@jeff said:

"Man, I Saw That!"

I kind of wish you'd use that title for something.

I concur. "MIST" videos have a nice ring to them.

Not when you abbreviate it like that. Now it just sounds like cutting-edge porn.

Posted by Neonie

"Unfinished" seems like an unfinished name.

That's... kind of the point.

Posted by TMBaker

Man I'm always up for some more GB content, awesome news. Can't wait to see an Unfinished for Divekick.

Posted by BeachThunder

@neonie said:

@beachthunder said:

"Unfinished" seems like an unfinished name.

That's... kind of the point.

Then it would be better id it were called "Unfin-"

Edited by development

Awesome. This needed to happen. Too many "un-released" released games nowadays.

I'm playing Rust right now, and I love it... but that game is really limited at the moment... as well as bugged out and... well unfinished.

Posted by san_salvador

Great idea, and special kudos for being so transparent and let us have a look at the inner workings of GB.

I nominee Drew for "Best idea 2014" - hard to imagine there will be 10 better ones.

Posted by TheGamerGeek

YOU WANNA GIVE ME MORE FUCKING CONTENT ILL TAKE THAT

Posted by jrl5k

I think they should be called Vaporware Videos

Edited by monkeystick

More games with dong!

Posted by san_salvador
@49th said:

Sounds great. I would like to see Vinny play Starforge some more...

I think he should make a video for every patch. "Vindogs Starforge Patchwatch"

Posted by TournamentOfHate

Is a game like Battlefield 4 ever finished? How many games get released knowing that they're not done with plans to just patch it post-release, even with a Day 1 patch. When is a game really ever finished?

Online
Posted by Sin4profit

Great idea, i like it.

Edited by HatKing

Cool. Sounds like this allows some wiggle room for more content, which I'm always for. And it also sounds like you guys are working on organizing the video content on this site a little better, which is also great news.

I'm sure it's been said a ton of times, but I'd like to see separate video sub categories for all the types of content (e.g.: Breaking Brad, Load Our Last Save, Unprofessional Fridays all being their own area). As is, finding specific older videos that don't fit into a specific category, or cover multiple games, is very difficult to do if you don't know exactly what they were titled. Terms like "features" and "events" are super nebulous and vague. Would Big Live Show be a feature or an event? Either? Even worse, is when videos get filed in the wrong spot, because with the current layout that might as well mean they don't exist. I think the Unprofessional Fridays episode with the 101 Games in 1 thing fell victim to this.

Anyway, it's always great to see you guys trying new things. I look forward to seeing it in action tomorrow!

Posted by TheManWithNoPlan

That sounds perfect. There are definitely games that don't necessarily qualify for something like a quick look, but would do well being shown off in another video format.

Posted by auwiz

Looking forward to it

Posted by TruthTellah

@truthtellah said:

@video_game_king said:

@jeff said:

"Man, I Saw That!"

I kind of wish you'd use that title for something.

I concur. "MIST" videos have a nice ring to them.

Not when you abbreviate it like that. Now it just sounds like cutting-edge porn.

You sound like cutting-edge porn.

Posted by jimmyfenix

Great idea Jeff. I look forward to the crazy content this will produce!

Posted by SgtSphynx

I like this idea, can't wait.

Edited by poperamone

Fantastic idea, I would really like to drew take on KSP or Prison Architect in a regular feature he is up to it.

Posted by san_salvador

Is a game like Battlefield 4 ever finished? How many games get released knowing that they're not done with plans to just patch it post-release, even with a Day 1 patch. When is a game really ever finished?

When the Dev sells it in boxes or for money without mentioning anything like "early", "beta" or stuff like that, then it counts as finished. Doesn't mean that it should be called finished, but the dev feels like it's done.

Edited by natellite

Neat!

Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials

It's a good idea, but the name is pretty dry.

I don't suppose you considered the title Work In Progress? That sounds more like a Giant Bomb feature to me.

Posted by Vuud

How about calling it "Alpha Dawgz"? I hope that's stupid enough.

Posted by scottygrayskull

I like it! Letting us know more up front that this is a slice of an unfinished game, and potentially subject to massive change, is a good idea. :)

Edited by Deathpooky

Seems like a good plan in today's brave new world of selling alphas/betas and games that could be unofficially out for years before being officially released.

Posted by TheMasterDS

This is wonderful news. This feels like something you guys have been looking to have for years. Cool to have a way to do it now.

Posted by MosaicM80

I support this! It will be fun being able to see the crew take a look at early release stuff so I'm glad of this new distinction. Good Jorb!

Posted by Trilogy

I approve! Not that it matters, but I do either way. I think it's wise to pay attention to unfinished games whether they're early access or whatever the case is. That kind of stuff is becoming more prevalent in the industry. Changing with the times is smart. Plus, I just straight up enjoy content.

Posted by Landmine

Sounds like a great idea, offers flexibility of format and more content for us.

Posted by cAnDyMaN69666

I think this is perfect and a great name. Ie been super interested in that bugbear thing too so now I'm doubly happy

Posted by GasparNolasco

Man, that's gotta be the best screencap ever taken of Jeff!

I like this! Only good experience with Early Access I've ever had was Starbound, and it was "recommended" by that quick look the GB dudes did a while ago. I'd love to see if there's more 'unfinished' games out there that are worthy of buying before they are done.

Posted by dodis4fun

Nice!, it will be awesome to see coverage from early access game's from you guys. I still shit my pants laughing when you guys play an actual released game. I can't wait to see the you all enjoy the bug's, glitches, fun and all around fuckedupery that early access can bring.

Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

@pie said:

Cool. I find it kinda strange how much thought giant bomb seems to put into how to properly categorise their videos and new feature ideas when at the end of the day it's all just them playing video games with some funny commentary. Make more of the funny less of the thinky. Were "unfinished" games not getting coverage just because they didn't fit into the very loose definition of a "quick look"? Who cares?

The developers of an early-build game might not want it presented under the same banner as finished, retail games. Maybe that fear is unfounded, but if this rebranding makes anyone feel better about sending unfinished projects to Giant Bomb, that just equals more games to look at.

Posted by Aetheldod

Oh hell yeah yes!!!! :D go for it duders

Posted by RetroVirus

I think it's a great distinction given the state of the early-release phenomena, and in general will aid in the flexibility when talking about these games and being able to automatically couch the discussion in the fact that this game is unfinished.

Posted by spraynardtatum

Awesome shit

Posted by VibratingDonkey

Sounds like videogames to me.

Edited by tildebees

What's gonna happen during UPF if you do this? Neo Geo?